Travel Filo & Organization

It’s been a while since I first introduced Beauford, the traveling Filo.  Since then he’s gotten a bit of an update.  Part of it has to do with what he carries, and part of it has to do with how he travels.  But let’s start at the beginning…

Just a little over a year ago, my family and I planned a trip to Disney World.  It turned out not to the trip we had planned, but rather a trip that was bittersweet—happy and sad all at the same time (which is why I never wrote about it).  But prior to the sad bits, it was fun and exciting planning for this trip.  I had decided to treat myself to a new travel bag.

Enter Timbuk2’s Parcel Tote (sadly, no longer available through T2’s website).  I wanted something that was big enough to carry all of my essentials on the plane, yet small enough that I didn’t need anything with wheels.  I tend to bring only one carry-on bag on the plane, so it needs to be big enough, yet small enough. 

This fit the bill perfectly.  It’s stylish; wide, rather than tall, which is what I prefer; made of durable fabric (nylon, I think); and offers a place for everything that I carry.

The open interior has one large main zipped pocket, plus a compartment pocket on the opposite side for credit cards and money and pens and whatnot, not to mention a pouch for a water bottle.

There’s also a small Velcro outside pocket…

…and a shoulder strap for using as a cross-body bag.

Sadly, because our Disney trip wasn’t exactly what is was meant to be, I didn’t take pictures of how I used it, but I did manage to get a photo of my Disney tab attached to the bag.

Fast-forward nine months to this past April when both the bag and my travel Filo took another trip.  We headed to Texas to visit family, and it was last year’s Disney trip that inspired me to make a few small changes to my travel filo.

I got out my Slimline Guildford and added some Disney items to the clear pocket inside.

Here I have luggage tags, my hotel key card, and the bag tab (as mentioned above), as well as the wristband from our trip to Turks and Caicos back in 2011.  This little pocket allows me to keep little mementos from past trips, such as these—a great thing to keep in a travel filo. 

What follows is mostly a watered-down version of what I keep in my daily planner.

First, I have my dashboard, a flyleaf of Post-its for various notes.

I also have a sticky note with my phone number on it, should the planner ever be lost.  I would hope that whoever found it would call me and return it to me.

Then, since it’s a travel binder, I have a sheet with emergency contact numbers.

I also take a long my list of journal topics.

I don’t get a daily opportunity to write in my journal, and vacations are no exceptions.  But to combat forgetting about topics I want to write about, I keep a list so that I can refer back to it when I do get the chance.

I also bring my finance sheets so that I don’t overspend.

I keep a list of how much I spend per month, and when I’m on vacation, I have to make sure that I don’t overdo it just because I’m on vacation, so having that list with me helps in this area.

I also have a list of my husband’s medication and what he’s allergic to.

Then, of course, extra notepaper comes in handy.

After all of the “extra stuff,” I keep my diary pages.

In my travel binder, I might carry a month or two of the monthly sheets and maybe only a month of daily sheets.  I don’t really plan while I’m away (in fact, that’s about the only time I don’t plan) but I like to keep track of our activities while we’re away.  It’s fun to go back and look at what we did while on vacation.

Finally, in the back pocket, I keep larger Post-its for other random notes.

So, how does all of this come together when it’s time to depart?

I gather all of the items I want to bring with me on the plane.

Above I have: a hat, my iPad, a pen for quick jots, my pen bag with my Coleto pens for color coding in my planner, sunglasses, gum, my essentials bag (full of chapstick, pain reliever, hand lotion, etc.), my wallet, a bag for electronic chargers, my travel filo, my “Raydori” (for my daily gratitude lists), and the book I was reading at the time.  Also included in this would be my iPhone, which I was using to take the photo at the time.

Everything packed very nicely into the Parcel tote (minus the travel filo).

I even had room left over to add a water bottle once I got through security.

I put my hat on top of everything, and still had a little bit of room.

It zipped without issue.

And the best part of the entire setup is that the Parcel’s outside pocket is the absolute perfect size for the travel filo!

I print out our boarding passes and place them in the Guildford’s secretarial pocket, along with my ID.  When it comes time to show everything at security and the gate, I just pull out the filo, get what I need, put it all back, and tuck it back into the Parcel’s pocket.  That outside pocket allows me to pull everything out very easily without having to zip open the bag and rifle through all of the contents.

This set up works so well for me, I don’t know that I’d ever move to anything else for air travel!

*Note: I am in no way affiliated with Disney, Timbuk2, or any related products.  All opinions are my own.


  1. Oooooh, that looks like the perfect travel bag!!! Love the water bottle holder and the perfect Filo-spot :)

    1. Yes, it has turned out to be the best flight-travel bag for me. It also makes a great everyday bag, though a little bigger than I would need for that. I love T2!

  2. We're planning our first air-travel trip in many, many years. I'm very interested in this post, hoping to get my head wrapped around what I will need to bring and how to pack it. I remember when I was young and traveled a lot, and never worried about it. I had a basic backpack (llbean) and all I needed was wallet, phone, passport, airline ticket... I'm thinking simplicity will rule in this instance. Trying not to over think it

    1. I am amazed by how much stuff people "need" with them as carry-on items. I see people (women) with handbags, and a personal bag (tote bag), and a wheeled carry-on. Why? What could they possiby need all three bags for? Most times they never access most of it. Of course, it depends on whether or not one has a layover and for how long, if one has to work during the trip, and if one has a laptop or other items that you wouldn't want to put in an unattended suitcase. But it still boggles my mind how much stuff people have. I have never needed more than one bag. Good luck with your packing and enjoy your trip!


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